Binoculars are one of the most important tools in your outdoor kit. Whether hunting, bird watching, fishing, or even attending a concert, binoculars can make viewing a landscape more palpable and fun.
We’ve put together a list of our top binoculars under $100 for outdoor enthusiasts who are just starting out, those adding quality set of binoculars to their case, and for those looking for a gift for the outdoor-lover in their life. We have also included a binocular buying guide to make shopping for your next pair of binoculars a cinch.
The Best Binoculars Under $100
Bushnell Falcon 133410
These Falcon binoculars will have you seeing as well as a “falcon.” They have a 7x magnification and an auto focusing porro-prism that make for quality optics with HD clarity. The auto focus makes it simple and easy to pay attention to your target as opposed to wasting time on the manual focus. The binoculars offer both short distance and large distance clarity, with 20-feet close and 420-feet long. It has 12mm eye relief and 5mm exit pupil, which is easy on the eyes and allows for continuous use. If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, the fold-down eyecups protect your lenses from scratching. You’ll also love the classic and chic design that comes with this industry-leading product. BUY IT NOW
These binoculars are perfect for all-weather trips. The BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated lenses add significant brightness to the image, which is great for hunting in clouds and light rain. They are compact and easy to carry, making them great for travel, hunting, birding, and even fishing trips. They have a soft texture grips which make it ideal for constant use, as well as twist-up eyecups, so they are comfortable and easy to use. These binoculars offer a sharp focus with a center knob for easy adjustments. BUY IT NOW
Bushnell Powerview Prisim
The Bushnell Powerviews are small (weighing only 7 ounces), yet sturdy, coated with a firm grip, non-sip rubber and an armor that absorbs shock from any drops. It has a center focus system that makes it simple to sharpen your view, with a 378-field at 1000-yards. Many consumers prefer to use these binoculars for bird-watching because it has a strong close-center focus. It comes in a variety of magnifications, with a roof prism system, so you’ll be able to find a great sight amplification for a lightweight and durable equipment. BUY IT NOW
Bushnell Powerview Surviellence
These porro-prism binoculars have an intense magnification and superior light transmission, great for woods and darkly lit environments. Many people even use them to stargaze! They have a 170-feet field of view at 1000 yards and a 50mm objective diameter. Bushnell’s Surveillance binoculars have a one-touch focus system that allows you to easily focus without significant manual effort, which is especially great for action-packed hunting trips. These glasses are better for long-distance, such as deer or elk, rather than close-range magnification. They also come with a woven neck strap that customers rave about because it helps to cut down the weight of the binoculars—plus it’s comfortable. BUY IT NOW
Polaris Optics ProBirder
This is not the most versatile binocular, and it is made more for the bird watching and close-range hunters out there. However, for those folks, it is an amazing and affordable option. It provides a sharp color contrast that helps focus in on the subject you are watching. It has an 8×32 magnification that lets you see even the lightest drops of dew as if you were inches away. The 356 feet field of view at 1000 yards proves to be a useful tool for birdwatchers, who want to be able to see several birds at once or swiftly focus on a new area. These binoculars to be a bit bulkier and heavier, but it does come with a great portable case and heavy-duty lens cover. BUY IT NOW
Merytes Portable HD
We put this on the list as one of the best “starter” binoculars at an incredibly affordable price. These binoculars do not have as many high-end functions for the more experienced hunters and bird watchers. However, these binoculars are compact, easy to carry, and come with a carrying bag and strap. The lenses make it great for environments with weak lighting, and the picture is so sharp and clear that you can see the individual hairs on a fox. This is great for adults taking their kids on a camping trip or tourist adventure, because they are easy to carry and easily adjustable (with the center hand wheel) for everyone in the family to share. BUY IT NOW
These binoculars are great for close range and long range, and they have a clear, sharp image in both the dark of night and the brightness of day. They seem to struggle a bit in weak lighting of overcast or foggy days. However, they have 10x magnification with a distortion-free view. These offers a Bak-7 lens system for excellent optics and precise focus, as controlled by a center focus knob. Using a porro-prism, it has a 342 feet view at 1,000 yards, with a 65° angle. One of our favorite parts of this binocular is that it has UV Protection in the glasses to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, which can amplify in binoculars’ reflective lenses. No need for uncomfortable, color-distorting sunglasses while you’re enjoying the great outdoors. BUY IT NOW
Nikon 8248 Aculon
One of the best reviews that these binoculars consistently get is that it is easy to focus and it stays sharp even in higher settings. With many binoculars, you can lose the image quality as you magnify and focus further. These not only maintain the quality of the image, but they also enhance it with eco-glass lenses that work well in most lighting conditions. It has one of the smoothest focus knobs, making it easy to operate and focus on your subject—your binoculars should help you get the job done, not give you more work. It also has a durable rubber-armored coating that makes it rugged and ready for any outing. The only real concern is that these binoculars sometimes work better for focusing on long-distance rather than short-distance bird watching or fishing. BUY IT NOW
These are the essential basics binoculars, perfect for those who are starting out or looking for a pair of basic binoculars to add to the set. The lens is not made for long-wear or usage in poor lighting, so these are better for those who will be using binoculars to quickly spot their target and then act. (Not right for birdwatchers, fishermen, etc.) It has an 8x magnification, a 383-foot field of view at 1,000 yards (which is larger than many), and a 21 mm lens. These are incredibly lightweight, though, so they are perfect for hiking and backpacking. Weighing in at 6.5 ounces, they take up little weight and room in the pack to carry on longer trips. They also have a rubber-armored housing that absorbs shock and protects from weather, perfect for unexpected mountain conditions. BUY IT NOW
Sminiker Folding Binocular
These are one of the smallest binoculars on our list, and they fold even smaller to be easy to carry and transport. These military grade binoculars include night vision, which allows for spectacular view after dark! They can be used for birding, travelling, sightseeing, hunting, and general observation with little problem. The field of view is approximately 413 feet at 1000 yards, at 7.2°, making it one of the widest fields on this list. They are easy to focus and quickly sharpen in accordance with any magnification, no matter the lighting. They also have a sleek design with strong durability. The only con is that the image is not as clear or sharp as some of its competitors, but that is because these lenses work their magic mostly at night. BUY IT NOW
We’ve added the final pair for those star-lovers out there specifically. Our top pick for stargazing with low light, long-distance viewing is the Celestron SkyMaster Giant. It has a diopter adjustment for fine focusing, which is crucial when trying to capture the intricacies of the night sky. It has multi-coated optics, which makes the image sharp and clear. The large aperture allows it to capture so much light, you can even see faint galaxies outside our own! It offers 13 mm eye relief for eyeglass wearers, allowing you to watch the terrestrial wonders all night long! Because they have such intense optics for long distance, they are a little on the heavier side—but they come with a tripod adapter. BUY IT NOW
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